Written by Nwaorgu Faustinus
There is no questioning the fact that Ngor/Okpala one of the oldest Local Government Areas in Imo State has not been given its pride of place in the scheme of things, politically or in terms of development. From 1999 to date one can hardly pinpoint one envious, jealousy-oriented or generating political position given to its daughters or sons at the international, national or state levels. Where this exists they prematurely fizzle out, perhaps a case of use and dump politics that has characterized politicking in this part of the world.
A few, mainly our sons, brothers, uncles, cousins etc whom most people believed managed to rig themselves back to elective positions after making mouth-watering promises during electioneering, turn their backs on their constituency while allegedly lining their bottomless vaults with the common wealth and patrimony. When constituency-fund-driven projects are initiated, they are not only purportedly inflated, but also sparingly and selfishly executed with the ultimate purpose to attract the praises of sycophants or praise singers who have sold their conscience to the dogs and for porridge of yam. All appears we have accustomed ourselves to this grave injustice and marginalization. Complacency with the present state of affairs has become the in thing.
Again, one finds it difficult to identify and appreciate state or third tier embarked-development projects that have direct impacts on its inhabitants. The bottom line is: Ngor/Okpala has been marginalized. Take a tour of the over twenty two communities that make up the council area, what is on ground in terms of infrastructure will surely sadden a dispassionate assessor. Is it in the area of roads, health centers, public schools, erosion control, poverty eradication, youth employment or job creation – it is saddening?
I remembered vividly the comment made by the current governor of Imo state, Owelle Rochas Okoroha about the poor nature of Ngor/Okpala LGA roads when he was campaigning prior to the April 2011 gubernatorial election. The manner he spoke on the nature of roads in the area left no one in doubt that he will swing into action with a view to renovating and building new key roads which this writer had identified in his article titled “Barr. Enyinna Onuegbu and the challenge of Ngor/Okpala Council Area” which was published in some internet based media sites.
Hundred days have elapsed since the Governor assumed the reins of power, socio-political commentators, guest writers, analysts of Ngor/Okpala extraction among others have continued to watch the state government and hope patiently that in no distant time, impact-directed-development projects will be bestowed on this disadvantaged council area that ultimately played noteworthy role in ushering Owelle Rochas into the Douglas House five months ago. Having performed somewhat averagely within the past one hundred days, by commencing road construction in some areas (not in Ngor/Okpala), payment of pensioners’ backlog of arrears and free transport to their LGAs, introduction of free education in state public schools, slight reduction in tuition fee, distribution of kerosene across the 27 LGAs etc have shown that he has the interest of Imolites at heart. These friendly initiatives for many a commentator is complete departure from the administration of his predecessor, Governor Ohakim who some believed acted like the biblical Rehoboam. Notwithstanding the above commendable positive gestures, for some commentators who hail from the council area, the appointment of one of their sons as attorney general of the state government is not good enough as he is there to serve the interest of himself, the state governments, his appointer’s, political associates’ and cronies’ – not the general interest Ngor/Okpala people.
Apart from the ever yearning need of appreciable infrastructural development in the council area namely, road construction, equipping and renovating public schools and hospitals, rural electrification, locating industries, both public/private tertiary institutions and at least one commercial bank to create job opportunity for the teeming number of unemployed youths, it is also behooves the person representing Ngor/Okpala in the State House of Assembly to use his position to tackle the menace of golly erosion that has become a threat to those living close to Umuneke River. Those who use the votes of Ngor/Okpala electorates to ascend to elective pinnacle should not ignore the council area by bequeathing on it lasting and commendable development projects not just to be remembered but also to be reelected in subsequent elections based on what they were able to achieve developmentally during their first tenure or risk the melancholic fate that befall the Ex-Governor, Ikedi Ohakim who campaigned vigorously Ngor/Okpala to seek for votes and spent so much money but was shown the way out just for a change. The people from the council area are wiser ever than before as shown by what they did to Owelle Rochas’ predecessor during the supplementary elections and would not accept anything short of enduring developmental projects. The time to act is now. God bless Ngor/Okpala.
Nwao(r)gu, Faustinus wrote from Port Harcourt, Rivers State and be reached on 08035601312.
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